Time to reflect
Five new ways to stay visible this autumn without looking like a traffic marshall.
Whenever you choose to ride, it will come as no surprise that autumn and winter are nibbling away at the amount of daylight we see. We know — it's all very depressing — but the low light of dawn and gloom from dark clouds needn't halt your riding plans.
Here are five hand-selected wearables that will improve your visibility when cycling on the road.
PEdAL ED Reflective Thermo Glove
PEdAL ED have taken their ultra-warm winter gloves and applied a Scotchlite-esq fabric across the back of the hand. Not only does the fabric block icy winter winds, but it provides a whole new level of visibility when indicating and riding along.
Who it's for: Anyone who rides a bike during the winter months.
Watch out for: Other riders stopping you to ask where you got your high-visibility gloves from.
Alternatives: The options are limited. Whilst there are other manufacturers making gloves from bright yellow or neon material, it doesn't reflect.
Metier Ultralight Beacon Gilet (available in men's and women's)
Metier burst into cycling last winter with their jackets featuring built-in LED lights and generous reflective detailing. This season, they've launched an ultralight gilet to wear all year round. It's packable, it's reflective, and it's got its own lighting system.
Who it's for: People who are training and riding at high intensity and don't want the bulk of a winter gilet.
Watch out for: The gilet has a sculpted race fit and full charge via USB takes up to three hours.
Alternatives: There are none. Just buy more bike lights and stick them to your body?
PEdAL ED Three Stripe Merino Socks
Merino is a super fabric when it comes to cycling — anti-odour, cool in the summer, and insulating in the winter, as well as being soft and comfortable. PEdAL ED weave reflective fibres into the yarn of their merino socks for added luminosity out on the bike.
Who it's for: Perfect on wetter or gloomy days when dark clouds make it seem darker than it is.
Watch out for: The sock is tall and suited to autumn riding. Remember to wash merino at 40c or cooler or it can damage the garment.
Alternatives: Assos weave reflective fabric into their winter overshoe, the Thermobootie.Uno_S7, to make the windproof front toe completely reflective.
Ortlieb High Visibility Saddle Bag
Made from waterproof polyurethane-coated Cordura fabric with interwoven reflective yarn, Ortlieb's German engineering comes into its own in their spacious, well-constructed saddle bag that will shine brightly at night.
Who it's for: Riders who commute and want to carry a couple of tubes, a jacket, and other small essentials for work, rather than a hefty backpack.
Watch out for: Unlike a backpack, there are no compartments, it's just a big space.
Void Reflective Gilet
Turning brilliant white when graced by a vehicle or street lighting, Void's Reflective Gilet is impregnated with millions of tiny glass beads bonded to the fabric, which provide almost 360-degree luminosity.
Who it's for: Everyday riders. The gilet has a generous cut and is designed for men or women. It is perfect for chilly rides to and from the office.
Watch out for: It's not packable. The added reflective technology is good at blocking wind, but it means that on high intensity rides you could get a bit sweaty.
Alternatives: The PEdAL ED Hikari Jacket offers a performance fit and technical fabrics for high-intensity riding.